Australian news February 5, 2010

Les Burdett announces retirement

Cricinfo staff

Les Burdett, the long-serving Adelaide Oval groundsman, has announced his retirement. At 59, he will relinquish the position he has held for nearly 32 years.

"I've always believed that the Adelaide Oval pitch has hosted good cricket because its characteristics provide a great contest between willow and leather," he told the Age. "From the outside looking in it looks pretty simple - grab the lawnmower and the roller and get out there and do it and talk to the seagulls. But if you ask my family, it's a seven-day summer. It's a commitment."

Burdett started work at the Adelaide Oval as an 18-year-old in 1969 and took over as curator in 1978. His expertise has been in demand overseas and he has helped in pitch preparation in several countries, such as India, South Africa and Malaysia.

James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, said: "Obviously the Adelaide Oval is one of the most beautiful grounds in the world and he's always been very proud of the way he's kept that ground. He's done a lot more than just that and he's played a role throughout Australian cricket as a consultant to us."

Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis termed it a sad day. "I don't think many other grounds meet the standard of this picturesque venue, there aren't too many cricketing venues in the world that are held in the same esteem as Adelaide Oval and Les' legacy will live on in this amazing venue."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lyle on February 6, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    This is to true these days the green tops which used to make the first day a nightmare for the batsmen have gone only at the W.A.C.A is there still a bit of pace and bounce but it's on the decline, at the Sydney test match against Pakistan we saw a good old green top and the Aussies were rolled for under 200! Batters average has become inflated and people who average 50, 20 years ago would be averaging 40.

  • Arnab on February 5, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    Personally I am greatful he is retiring! yes adelaide is a picturesque cricket ground, but its a ridiculously flat and batsmen favouring pitch! impossible for teams to force a result unless you have the quality of 2 superstars, i.e. when warne and mcgrath where around it seems australia had sporting pitches but now we are seeing that, despite the improvement this year, pitches are too slow and flat, particular the Adeliade oval, hopefully someone new comes and provides a more sporting wicket

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